By Craig Kwasniewski
So the NBA Draft is Wednesday night. We at The Association don’t consider ourselves draft experts by any means. But from watching many games in person and on TV we do know what each team needs this offseason. Will they fill the needs Wednesday night or will the stupidity continue (yes, I’m talking to you Mitch Kupchak).
Anyway here is Part 1 of the draft (picks 1 through 10), lets take a look at each draft spot starting with Toronto:
1. Toronto: They need an athletic swingman to go along with Chris Bosh and they need to convince Mike James to stay a Raptor. This pick has Rudy Gay written all over it, but with the new front office having European ties, I see them drafting Andrea Bargnani.
2. Chicago: Needs a low post presence badly with Curry’s departure and Tyson Chandler becoming a poor man’s Marcus Camby (even down to being injury prone). LaMarcus Aldridge looks to have the best low-post potential and will fit the team. Does Chicago have the patience to wait a few seasons for his game to mature or will they trade this pick?
3. Charlotte: I liked the direction this team has gone. Take raw athletic players in the expansion draft and hope to draft talent over time. For an expansion team, they were pretty fun to watch. They need a point with a good work ethic to teach Sean May to keep the weight off. They’ll take Brandon Roy.
4. Portland: This franchise more than any other needs an Alpha Dog with strong leadership and is a truly good guy… BADLY. I can’t find one in this draft. They’ll go with a safe pick (code for white guy) and take Adam Morrison.
5. Atlanta: They should just say, “Screw it, we’ve blown so many drafts on shooting guards, we’ll take Ronnie Brewer!” Since they blew their chance at taking Chris Paul last season, they need a point guard here, but with Al Harrington possibly moving they also need a big. They’ll take Tyrus Thomas.
6. Minnesota: What’s their direction here? Do they draft complimentary pieces, trade for Starbury and hope for one final run for The Big Ticket? Or do they try to rebuild on the fly? I say they do the former and try to draft a relatively polished scorer in Rudy Gay.
7. Boston: Can you draft a head coach here? Since they are banking the future on Al Jefferson and the youth movement, do they continue and take a chance on a project player or do they draft a more experienced player? They look to add depth at the point and take Marcus Williams.
8. Houston: They need to get a new coach to add some life here. Is Pat Riley available to stab Jeff Van Gundy in the back and take over in Houston? This team needs some backcourt speed and athleticism. Plus, they looked thin at power forward as Juwan Howard’s corpse is running on fumes. They’ll take Shelden Williams.
9. Golden State: This team was very disappointing last season. I figured they would be the 05-06 version of the 04-05 Suns. Too much infighting (Barron Davis and Montgomery, Davis and Dunleavy, Davis and the ballboy) killed the season. They need a low post presence badly just to balance the offense, unless Ike Diogu is ready to step in. I see them taking Patrick O’Bryant.
10. Seattle: They really need to re-sign/extend The Association fav Chris Wilcox. He will have a breakout season in 06-07. They did a nice job adding Earl Watson in the midseason so he could platoon with Luke Ridnour. They need another aggressive big and they will be back in the playoff hunt. Seattle will take a chance at developing Cedric Simmons.